Military Families Confident of Financial Planners

Most middle-class military families trust the financial planners they work with, according to a recent survey.

Survey findings from the First Command Financial Behaviors Index reveal that 83% of middle-class military families (senior NCOs and commissioned officers in pay grades E-6 and above with household incomes of at least $50,000) express trust in their financial planner. This level of trust is roughly unchanged from a year ago.

“The high degree of trust revealed in our survey results highlights the important service that financial planners are providing to service members and their families as they seek to get their finances squared away in this time of uncertainty,” said Scott Spiker, CEO of First Command. “The professional advice, knowledge and service delivered by financial planners is helping to generate feelings of confidence and security among military professionals as they deal with the issues of sequestration, a changing benefits picture and long-term career uncertainty.”

Notably, these feelings of confidence and security are growing over time, said Spiker. The index reveals that 57% of service members who have worked with a financial adviser for at least three years feel confident in their ability to retire comfortably. This compares to 47% of those who have worked with an adviser for less than three years and 30% of those who have no adviser.

Service members who trust their own personal financial planner attribute that feeling to a variety of issues, the top five of which include:

  • Length of service;
  • Integrity;
  • Good communication;
  • Personal relationship; and
  • Good service.

The index reveals that 42% of middle-class military families have a financial planner, and more service members expect to join them. Among those without a financial planner, roughly one in five say they are likely to engage with one in 2013.

“We anticipate that many service members will turn to people they know for help in making this important decision,” Spiker said. “Our survey results reveal that half of military families who work with a financial planner based their hiring decision on relationships and reputation.”

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